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View Diary: Military Privatization (67 comments)

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    I grew up an Army-brat, '53 'til '71. My Dad went from E-6
    to WO1 when he was put to teaching radar maintenance
    at the Fort Sill Artillery and Missile School. Then he made his first trip to RVN with the advance party of the 1st Infantry
    Division and his counter-mortar radar. In that era he was guaranteed 2 years stateside between tours and his choice of duty stations. We ended up at Ft. Richardson, Alaska for 11 months. They had a radar there, he was Motor Pool Warrant wondering where APC parts went to (GIs autos) and occasionally recalibrating a weather radar. Not a happy camper.
    At that point I was old enough, H.S. junior, to leave the house unattended and immediately began hanging out at the service club, learned my way around a darkroom, and at snack bars in the barracks areas, drinking beer at the pinball machines.
    Once every 2 or so years we would have Turkey Day in a mess hall  with the GIs. More often than that we would bring fellas home from chapel for Sunday dinner. Then it was off to a sundown town near Orlando while the old man took his CW2
    back to RVN and an Agent Orange shower (which the VA recognized about 2 years before Dad passed in '05) . Then Ft. Hood, Sept. '70 'til retirement in June '71. I remember him mulling
    CW4 and deciding it would mean extending his enlistment and another trip you-know-where. He left with 26 years and his CW3.
    Anyway, in my experience it was a GI or a dependent who held the on-post jobs.  I bagged groceries Saturdays at the commissary, worked Officers Clubs, snack bars in barrack basements or West Fort Hood airfield and hung out with more GIs. To this day I have a terrible time remembering names
    ' cause I learned not to ask brothers I hadn't seen for a year or 2 about anyone who wasn't there.
    In my adult working life I spent 13+ years as a mechanic accompanying air freight aircraft, Douglassaurus 8s, when they went where the company didn't have a mechanic to meet the A/C. Lots of that was military contract.
    The GI bill is not what it was in the '60s and '70s. Veterans
    get TERRIBLE treatment from the VA. Suicide is taking more GI lives than the bogus war(s) and XE or Blackwater or whatever they call themselves this week have a huge private force and mercs and contractors get Zip besides a paycheck.
    All while Burger King and whoever else can get in the door are scraping the cream.
    Why is the National Guard doing International duty?
    Is it a bottom line thing? Duh.
    Yeah, pallets of C-notes, and don't forget the bunkers full of ordnance on the way to Baghdad that had their locks cut off and were then walked away from...IED anyone?
    Things are REALLY fouled up !!! Thanks loads GW, DC, Rummy and all the rest of you enema nozzles.
    So, I expect all the 1% wannabes would pitch a fit if  "this mans' Army" were to start doing for themselves and the VA
    were to actually develop the ability to properly recompense
    those who have survived serving.
    This ain't all but it seems to have become a lot like a rant.
    Thanks again for the diary.

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